Friday, November 10, 2006

so I Aid Climb...

I am discovering a new kind of climbing. it is called aid climbing and invovles using gear to pull yourself up a wall instead of 'free climbing' which invovles your body- using arms and legs to work your way up a wall. Aid climbing typically means you will be getting very high off the ground. most climbers in yosemite are aid climbing. you have to aid climb rock that is just way too hard for the average (not super human) climber to free climb. when you look at a chunk of rock and it just looks impossible to climb using fingers, toes, etc you can probably get to the top by aiding. you place protective gear in a crack, connect a sort of ladder to that piece of gear and step up the ladder with all your weight. place another piece, move your ladder, etc. it sounds almost easy, until you try it. i 'aided' a 100ft pitch this last week and by the top of it my brain was absolutely frazzled. it was just being 'on' for almost 2 hours- as in my brain was working, thinking, choosing, deciding, doubting, and guessing for 2 hours straight. aid climbing is slow, but it gets you high. aid climbers are the ones that sleep on port-a-ledges- those tarp looking things that people sleep on 1000 ft off the ground. it was fun though- it is systematic, detailed, and interesting. most importantly, it makes you very familiar with the protection we climbers use while free climbing. you learn very quickly which kind of gear is 'good' and which kind will probably pop out of the rock if youf all on it.

why all this about aid climbing?

because we are going to climb a big wall in zion nat'l park over thanksgiving. the wall will be around 1000 ft high, and we will be spending the night somewhere around 600 ft. eric, mark, katie and i are all going and we are pretty excited. mark and i have been practising more than eric and katie b/c we have more time off so we will probably lead more of the routes. the people who follow the leader must 'jug' up the rope- using metal devices called ascenders they slide themselves up a fixed rope. it will be epic. it will be challenging. it will be fun!!!

Thursdays are my favorite day. we meet with several other couples every thursday to share a meal and just talk. if it's about God so much the better. but mostly we are all getting to know each other. mark and lauren, tabetha and brian, garrett and bridget, eric and i. last night we took katie with us too. we didnt' mean for it to only be couples, it's just who we knew at the time. i feel so blessed to have this growing group of friends. last night we all told how we met/dated/got married and we just laughed and laughed. it was so much fun. i felt like i had a lot of community. i look forward to thursday evenings so much now.

this saturday we are going to attempt a backcountry ski run. i say 'attempt' b/c we only have moderate snow right now and i'm not sure we will find enough out there. but it'll be fun. and (i can't believe i am going to say this) we may actually watch an arkansas football game. brian and tabetha are from tennessee and they invited us up to park city for the arkansa/tennessee game. mostly we want to go just to drink some beer, eat chips and salsa, and laugh a lot. i could care less what we are watching. we are even attempting to drag our northwestern friends garret and bridget along with us (and you KNOW they don't care!).

eric and i now have memberships at a climbing gym. i've gone a few days so far and can only last about 1 hour. my hands get torn apart and i have been sore for days now. it's a good sore though.

work has been kinda hard this week. i haven't been able to get all my hours (again) and that creates a certain amount of stress. so to make up the time i have been helping in the pre-op section, making home phone calls to review health histories with patients, doing sort of glorified secretary duties. that is hard for me when i feel trained to do such a different job.

today is friday. hurray! i am looking forward to this weekend, the friends we will hang out with, and the mountains we will enjoy. salt lake is so pretty right now with the snow capped mountains and the blue skies. don't you all want to come visit?! :)

Thursday, November 02, 2006

October Pics

Josh and I had a contest to see whose hair was greasier by the end of the trip. It's a close call.

Sam and I digging out the clay road with an ice tool and a plastic avalanche shovel

Leading Dr. Carl 5.10 Indian Creek, Utah